Can India survive Hindutva’s assaults?

Were the saffron project to succeed the resultant freak will be an affront to humanity, an assault on the senses


History constructs the  ethos of a nation over time,  vicissitudes notwithstand ing. Overarching the peri  odical transitions and contingencies emerges the distinctive identity of a nation and stamps itself on its psyche and its being. The aeons–long experiential alchemy of India has fostered an ethos that has sustained it as a society and distinguished it as a unique nation. The various cultural encounters that India witnessed throughout its chequered and multi–layered history did not force it into an isolationist sulk. It creatively accommodated not only diverse peoples but also manifold thought currents. Both these — the people and the variegated streams of thought — contributed to the enrichment of Indian civilisation. And, like a person with multiple preferences and potentials, India subsumed layer upon layer of ideational variety and creative adventure in fields as far apart as philosophy and entertainment.

The thought processes and societal schemes of India, by and large, did not admit of elimination and exclusion in its cross cultural experiences (as its response). Its assimilative imagination overreached itself in even creating new gods and goddesses out of an amalgam that history had deposited at its doors. Its art forms reflected its refreshingly original blend of influences from far and near. All this from the free play of the inventive spirit, from the uninhibited exercise of the creative imagination, from the daring flights of experimental abandon. 

India rejoiced in multiplicity, it celebrated its multiples of hybridity and bewildering array of heterogeneity by imaginatively transforming them into a “pure” novelty and imprinting it with characteristics all its own. India revelled in the multiverse. Pluralism became its destiny, its distinction, its divertissement. It was this overwhelming glory of an abundance that was designated as Mahajati by Tagore. An approximate, but in no way adequate, English rendition of the idea enshrined in this felicitous coinage of the poet may be the Great Race. Some of the people who mingled in the soil of India, as adumbrated in Shrimad Bhagawat (2.4.18) are: Kirat, Huna, Andhra, Pulind, Pulkash, Abhir, Shumbha, Yavana, Khasa, etc.

Violently jerked loose from these civilisational roots India will become a vicious chimera, a dreaded nightmare, an abode of evil, a frightening vista of ugliness (drab uniformity), a vast expanse of vacuity (death of creative imagination) and sterility (conformist regimentation). The resultant freak will not be India. It will have lost its bearing, and its reason for being. The detritus pretending to be India, sequent to its demolition, would be much less than even a dung heap — an affront to humanity, an assault on the senses.

Geographical territory alone isn’t enough for a nation to identify itself. That territory must have a character and an identity, forged by history and validated by time. Kurds, even without a territory, are still a nation. Violence of realpolitik may succeed in artificially creating nation-states sometimes. But it cannot create a nation. A nation is a mirror with its back to the past too.

Those who are antipathetic to this historical identity, cultural locus, and civilisational conspectus of India are foreign to its ethos as a nation and entity as a nation–state. They pose a permanent danger to the unity of the nation, to its diversity of sub–cultures and variety of sub–nationalisms, to its pluralistic conflations, and its heterogeneous self–assertions. They constitute a permanent fifth column ever ready to betray the nation and bleed it to death.

No amount of breast beating on their part can convince any sane Indian that they are patriots or nationalists. Their patriotism is parochial, their nationalism sectarian. They have carved out their narrow domain of loyalty and affinity to “their” kind. The rhetoric of “one people, one nation, one culture” is a foreign import, fascistic in intent and content, reactionary to the core, a regressive anachronism. This concept, alien to India and its psyche, had its provenance in Europe, which it drenched in blood for close to two centuries, without ever succeeding in fixing as final the territorial boundaries of any nation-state in a rational manner, fair to all its people. No saffron, the colour of fire, can purge it of its inhumane and protean contents, and render it swadeshi.

Those who denounce and repudiate this construct will do all in their power to destroy India rooted in and sustained over millennia by it. They will rather smash and shred India to smithereens than respectfully abide by its traditional ethos and let it flourish as a great model of humanistic and pluralistic nationalism for the world to emulate and be enlightened by. They will subvert it relentlessly as die–hard enemies of the nation while mumbling anathema against “others” within and without its borders. 

While tearing it apart ruthlessly and forcing its diverse peoples to secede in order to escape its steamroller of hegemonic homogeneity, they will keep howling Akhand Bharat, quixotically laying claim to Afghanistan, Burma, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and of course, the Pak–Occupied Kashmir and Pakistan, and thus “restoring” the golden Bharat of a non–existent and mythical yore, and of a puerile lore.

Such malevolent ones can never look kindly upon secular democracy, participatory polity, egalitarian aspiration, and pluralistic impulse of the millions of people who constitute the nation. Rather than endorse and give in to this humane and holistic view of civic life in a nation disfigured by various divides, the Black Caps are seeking to further maul and mangle it in the interests of the few, traditionally privileged by the status quo at home, and militarily entrenched by the predatory (imperialist) business houses abroad. What they did in the matter of Kargil and Kandahar, viz., betrayal of the nation and open treason for the benefit of their party, is of a piece with their antecedents. 

In the freedom struggle of India these anti–national, anti–social elements not only never participated, but also did their damned best to thwart it as stool pigeons and informers of the Brits. They, a national shame, constitute an indelible stigma on the social fabric of India.
The same love for the wily aliens (“Aryan” affinity, conjured in servility by the Black Caps) who drained India of its resources and subjected its people to massive tyranny (unbearable taxes and recurrent famines) and misery (devastating immiseration), is again in evidence in the grovelling welcome laid out for Bill Clinton. 

And, these traditional traitors have offered to replace Pakistan as the imperium’s outpost in Asia. Emulating Pakistan! And, as new peons of Uncle Sam, also courting its fate — ignominy, isolation, abandonment after use, and political anarchy. 

The US–Pak strategic alliance (SEATO, CENTO) was the prototype of the newly emergent Indo-US one, fabricated to advance American interests post–Cold War. Thus reduced to a watchdog of imperialist hegemony, facilitating and participating in the subjugation of South Asia to White aliens, India is set to become an agent of tyranny and loot directed by the imperium. This is the role pre–ordained and natally prescribed for those who made common cause with India’s enemy, the Brits. 

This is the role the saffronites have played to the hilt with sickening regularity whenever they could. And, thus they betrayed the nation to Pakistan in Kargil and Talibans in Kandahar. The same role they have now pledged to play in the Indian Ocean region, ditching the interests and security of India and South Asia to oblige the foreign masters.
The number and kind of bills legislated lately by the Parliament are tell tale. They bespeak the priorities of the neo–Hindu bandwagon. 

Not one enactment redressing the grievous issues currently affecting the masses, and no hurry in that direction. All the legislative flurry that has been in evidence has been strictly in favour of the foreign traders, mortgaging sector after sector of national economy (insurance, lawyers, etc.) to interests abroad. All national resources sacrificed to the holy trinity of globalisation (hegemonic death grip), liberalisation (foreign and feral exploitation), and privatisation (a fancy name for the sweetheart give–aways of public undertakings to foreigners and their native clones).

Historically, the neo–Hindus have been inimical to the people of India. And this roster only briefly showcases their bid to hasten the sell out, all as the unholy agenda of Hindutva. For diversionary ploys they never lack issues: violence against minorities, stuffing textbooks with vicious anecdotes as history, removing scholars from the ICHR for fear of exposure as Quislings, appointing avowed murderers at the helm in the NCERT, making Pakistan’s ISI responsible for its own gross incompetence and ineptitude, subverting the democratic process by gratuitously offering the Constitution for “review” and rooting for a Presidential form of government as if their tyranny in the present set–up is terribly restricted, performing neo–Hindu havanas and chanting of shlokas in state–sponsored events, encouraging barbaric vandalism by lumpens against artistic freedom of expression, communalising the bureaucracy and the police, brazenly making the governor an unabashed agent of the ruling party at the Centre, etc.

Their offensive against Hinduism, were it to succeed, may culminate into its shrinking to a cult. Only a cult has the fanaticism, narrowness, bigotry, and brain–dead conformity that the Black Caps impose on their cadres and on the society that they seek to “Hinduise”. It will have no resemblance with historical Hinduism, scriptural and popular. It would be a version of Christianity under Hitler which was quite “popular” in Germany in the accursed decades. The Black Cap Hindutva will snuff out the liberal, multi–faceted, large–hearted openness of imaginative expanse that characterised Hinduism over the millennia gone by. It would be one more Semitic sect, though not in external appearance, with its adherents dead to the wider world of humanity and its concerns, incapable of and unwilling to contribute to it anything in solidarity and enrichment. It would be dead Hinduism over whose ashes will Hindutva prevail.

As to India, this neo-Hindu fascist onslaught will prove its undoing. Its polity and society will be rent apart irremediably. Two points are worth pondering. One: This menace has not registered its ferocity well enough on the public mind. The intelligentsia is either lethargic or naive. Since its rampage is sporadic and spread out, the generality of people have not yet woken up to its fangs. But any delay in resisting it tooth and nail will amount to inviting national disaster.

Two: Fascist Hindutva will ride to power clutching the coat-tails of democracy — elections, legislatures, etc. But conceding this fig leaf of legitimacy and respectability to the murderous cult of neo–Hindus would ring the death knell of the democratic enterprise that is India. 

Archived from Communalism Combat, July 2000, Year 7  No. 60, Cover Story



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